A Venezuelan SU-30 Flanker fighter jet came dangerously close to a US Navy EP-3 Aries II aircraft in international airspace on July 19, the navy said.
“After reviewing video documentation, we have determined the Russian-made fighter aggressively shadowed the EP-3 at an unsafe distance in international airspace for a prolonged period of time, endangering the safety of the crew and jeopardizing the EP-3 mission,” a navy statements read.
The US noted that the EP-3 aircraft was adhering to international standards and rules.
1 of 2 JUST RELEASED #Venezuela SU-30 Flanker “aggressively shadowed” a U.S. EP-3 aircraft at an unsafe distance July 19, jeopardizing the crew & aircraft. The EP-3 was performing a multi-nationally recognized & approved mission in international airspace over #CaribbeanSea. pic.twitter.com/edjmPqXbmP
— U.S. Southern Command (@Southcom) July 21, 2019
The Venezuelan government said its armed forces rejected the incursion of a US reconnaissance and intelligence aircraft near the Maiquetia airport.
The statement further said that the US aircraft was detected in Venezuelan airspace and did not report its presence to local authorities.